Exposé Online banner

Tom Dyer — 1 + 1 = ?
(Green Monkey GM1055, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-08-30

1 + 1 = ? Cover art

Tom Dyer is something of a musical institution in the Pacific Northwest, having been involved in a variety of endeavors since the 80s, including running the Green Monkey label and being in bands such as Me Three, The Colorplates, and The Icons, not to mention solo recordings and production work. His last few releases have fallen into (more or less) straight-ahead rock styles with his bands New Pagan Gods and True Olympians, but he’s always had a vein of more experimental music existing in parallel with his rock work. 1+1=? leans towards this experimental side, even more than I Ain’t Blue Anymore. He explores a wide range of different sounds on these 13 tracks, starting with a lovely string quartet to accompany his lyrics of environmental concern on the opening track, “Everything in the World Is Returning to a State of Nature.” Then “Seven Times Is Love” brings in a combination of disjointed keyboard parts, overdubbed choir parts, and different treatments on the lead vocal. Other songs bring in a variety of wind instruments, percussion both live and programmed, Amy Denio and others guesting on vocals and saxophone, and twisted avantgardisms reminiscent of The Residents. Several songs fit broadly into a type of balladry, telling stories like “Death at Mounts Road,” about the 2017 train derailment in Washington State that left three people dead and dozens injured, and “When Roger Took the Bus,” about an encounter with a “hungry, smelly man” on public transit. Arrangements run from sparse, with just acoustic guitar, to more elaborate, such as the previously mentioned string quartet, to simulated full band sounds with saxes and bass clarinet parts. At all times, he’s likely to throw in unexpected tonalities — coloring within the lines is definitely not his thing. 1+1=? is an intriguing curiosity, a vision of pop-rock music viewed through a kaleidoscope of warped mirrors and unpredictably shifting angles, and a lot of fun to boot.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Dyer, Amy Denio

More info
http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/1-1

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozric Tentacles - Vitamin Enhanced – This six-CD set contains the early works of the band from the years 1984-89, heretofore only available on six cassettes that together cost more than this boxed set. For those not yet familiar with the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues